Police Remind Public to Move-Over in Wake of Two Recent Accidents
In the wake of two separate incidents where emergency workers were struck by motorists in the span of two days, law enforcement authorities are reminding the public about Georgia’s “Move Over” law according to an 11 Alive report. The report indicates that a DeKalb County woman has been charged with reckless driving and DUI after she hit a Sandy Springs police officer on the side of the road. The force of the impact propelled the police officer’s cruiser over a hundred feet from a stopped position according to the report. Earlier the same week, Patrick Brownlee, a tow truck driver, died after he was hit on I-20 while trying to load a disabled vehicle. Our personal injury attorneys and staff at Montlick and Associates offer condolences to the victims and their families and urge motorists to respect Georgia’s move-over law.
The move-over law imposes an obligation on motorists to change lanes or reduce their speed when emergency vehicles are located on the shoulder of the roadway. If emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, have their emergency beacons on, drivers are required to move a lane away provided it is safe to change lanes. Although the law has existed in Georgia for more than a decade, law enforcement authorities lament the fact that many drivers simply ignore the law.
While many motorists disregard this important traffic safety law, the law enforcement officer put at-risk by such violations take the law very seriously. Since the law went into effect, more than 20,000 tickets have been issued for violating the law. Motorists who are cited are likely to pay attention after receiving a ticket because the fine for an infraction is $500.
The law was enacted to protect police officers, traffic violators, stranded motorists, paramedics, roadwork crews and other emergency responders from being struck by passing drivers. The law was passed because of the rising number of law enforcement officers, DOT workers and tow truck drivers that were suffering serious injury or dying at crash sites, highway construction projects and traffic stops.
When emergency responders are out of their vehicle on the side of the road, they are extremely vulnerable to severe injuries. This high risk is evidenced by the fact that more police officers die because they are hit and killed while working outside their vehicle than from any other cause, including shootings and assaults according to the FBI.
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We urge all motorists in Atlanta and throughout Georgia to observe the move-over law to prevent avoidable injuries to those performing their duties. If you are an emergency responder who is struck by a motorist who disregards the Georgia move-over law, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our Georgia personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.